State Senate passes farm-to-senior bill

ALBANY — The New York State Senate recently passed Bill S2149, legislation that would create a farm-to-senior program to promote the purchase of New York state farm products by senior centers and other institutions for the aging.

The program would replicate a similar effort, the farm-to-school program established in 2002 to enable schools to purchase locally grown farm produce for schoolchildren. 

The bill, which would give that same access to seniors, according to a press release, “would help facilitate a working relationship between the State Department of Agriculture and Markets, the Office for the Aging, local senior centers and institutions for the aging for the purchasing and promotion of farmers’ products. 

This would include the development of a promotional event called The New York Golden Harvest: Seniors Week to connect local agriculture and foods to seniors at senior centers, farms, farmers markets and other locations in the community.

The state would also work on maximizing the use of government funding for senior meals to purchase nutritious, locally produced foods to benefit the health of seniors and the local economy.